by Richard Stokes
I once heard someone say that despite what you might think, people aren’t looking for a single device that does everything. Rather they’re using multiple devices and choosing the one that best fits the setting. For example, in a doctor’s office you wouldn’t find a physician using his/her iPhone to take notes during a patient consultation and conversely you’re not likely to see a physician holding an iPad to their ear to make a phone call.
As a result, many of us, myself included, own multiple devices and I can only imagine what it would be like if I ever lost or misplaced one of them. Remember when you only had to worry about walking out of the house with your wallet and keys? Now you’ve also got to keep up with your smart phone, iPad and maybe even a laptop.
So before it happens to you – get the app ‘Find my iPhone.’
This is a fantastic tool that gives you the ability to track, locate and even erase the data on the misplaced or compromised unit from another linked device.
The first thing you need to do is install the app on all the iOS devices you own and want to keep track of (iPhones, iPod Touches, iPads). Note – the app is centrally tied to your Apple ID so you can’t add other devices that are not registered under you. There is another app, detailed later, that allows you to link to friends and family in this same manner.
Now, let’s fast forward and say you’ve lost one of them:
- Open the ‘Find My iPhone’ app from one of the other devices that you loaded the app on (you can also do this from your iCloud account)
- You will be prompted to enter your password
- Tap on ‘devices’ and all the devices you have registered will be shown
- Tap on the device that is lost and it will pull up a map using GPS that will show you the exact whereabouts of that unit (It does have to be turned on – otherwise it will only show you its last known location)
- Once you’re in the general vicinity of it and you’re still having a hard time finding it (i.e. – it’s lost between the sofa cushions) you can instruct it to play a sound to help you pinpoint it
If it’s not turned on you can activate a feature called ‘Lost Mode’. This will not only lock the phone, which can only be unlocked by a 4 digit passcode that you set, but you will also be emailed when the phone comes back online again. You can then track it via the GPS system.
To connect to devices outside of your control there is an app called Find my Friends. As the name indicates it’s used to connect with other users for the same purposes. This does, of course, assume they agree to you being able to track them. Anyway, an interesting and timely use of this application was during the tragic events that occurred at the 2013 Boston Marathon.
A friend was participating in the event and had given his iPhone to his wife to hold while he was running. After the incident, he and his daughters were trying to locate her but couldn’t call because the cell phone network was down. So, using his daughter’s iPhone they were able to locate her by using the ‘Find My Friends’ app which found his iPhone and hence her.
For some additional information on how to use the ‘Find My iPhone’ app and how to get the most out of it take a look at this article: https://www.wikihow.com/Find-a-Lost-iPhone. Bottom line – save yourself the headache and future stress and get the app – it’s free!